Yesterday M.I.A. released “Freedun,” a fourth single off her forthcoming album AIM. The song features ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik. According to Genius, the track was originally recorded in 2011 and used M.I.A.’s vocals until Zayn replaced her on the chorus this summer.
In a Billboard interview, M.I.A. acknowledged that the song was atypically “mainstream-sounding for me.” It does feel like pop, with a catchy falsetto hook from Zayn and braggartly, sometimes un-P.C. lyrics about her multi-planetary fanbase and “raping” her own replay button. Yet even when she talks about swagger, M.I.A. hints at a characteristically political message, rapping that she comes from “the People’s Republic Of Swagistan.”
“Freedun” follows the last single off AIM, last month’s “Bird Song.” The album is scheduled for release on Sept. 9. Listen to “Freedun” below.